Furnace and water heater safe to use after flood?

A neighbor’s basement flooded, and I believe that he need to have his water heater and furnace replaced. What information can I find that would support this, and help him in his fight with his insurance company? Between the rather finicky gas control valve, the various safety pressure valves and the electrical control board, I’m convinced that the furnace is never going to be safe or reliable to operate. This is in Kansas City. Is there a national gas appliance code that forms the basis for the local code, like the electrical and plumbing codes?

You need to supply more information. You could flood my basement with 2 feet of water and I would be able to salvage the furnace with a new blower motor. How high was the water? Was it contaminated? What is the insurance company proposing?

You mmay need to clean some parts and also replace other parts. Why would you need to replace the complete unit?

The gas control valve, burners, electronics and the lower part of the heat exchanger were all submerged.

Unless it was all immersed in salt water (which I would think is unlikely in Kansas City), the electronic control board and all other electronic parts will work fine once they dry out.

I can’t see any reason why a pressure relief valve would fail either.

I’m with Magiver on the blower motor. If it was submerged (which your second post doesn’t mention) I’d have it replaced.

If there was mud in the water and you’ve got a good coat of mud on everything, the burners and the heat exchanger will have to be cleaned off, but once that’s done they’ll work fine. I can’t see any reason to replace these.

I’d probably replace the gas control valve as well.

As much as I’d love to stick it to the insurance guys, I can’t see any reason to replace the entire furnace and water heater. Just make sure they thoroughly clean everything and they should be fine.

How deep was the water?

There’s at least one concern though…

Relays of all sorts—including things like ‘pressure relief valves’ would be highly susceptible to rust.

This would include circuit boards. The motor would get changed for sure, (largely because of rust) but I’m not so sure I wouldn’t change some components.

It may be a few months before they fail—at which point its too late to go back to the insurance company.

I don’t think a case can be made to replace the furnace, but I think an honest, reasonable case can be made for some components.